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4th Entertainment Expo Hong Kong Opens with Fanfare
Gala Ceremony and Asian Film Awards Kick-Off Month-Long Celebration of Film, TV, Music and Digital Entertainment

Officiating at this evening's gala opening ceremony for Entertainment Expo Hong Kong 2008 are (right to left): Jack So, Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) and the Hong Kong Film Development Council, Henry Tang, Acting Chief Executive, HKSAR, and Tony Leung, Hong Kong Entertainment Ambassador. Also attending were representatives of Entertainment Expo's nine events
At this evening's opening ceremony, Henry Tang spoke highly of Hong Kong's entertainment industry. "In the last three years alone, we exported nearly HK$3 billion worth of film and picked up more than 100 awards at international film festivals and competitions. More important, our films, music and television remain an important part of this city's cosmopolitan make-up"
On behalf of the TDC and the Hong Kong Film Development Council, Jack So toasted the success of Entertainment Expo: "This annual celebration is redefining Hong Kong as Asia's entertainment centre, just as Hong Kong has long been Asia's financial centre"

17 March 2008 - Entertainment Expo Hong Kong 2008 opened today with all the fanfare attached to Asia's leading entertainment industry event.

Among those who will be on hand for tonight's gala ceremony are Acting Chief Executive Henry Tang, Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) and the Hong Kong Film Development Council Jack So, and Hong Kong Entertainment Ambassador Tony Leung. They will join other top industry representatives at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to officially open the internationally acclaimed entertainment extravaganza.

This year's Entertainment Expo combines nine multimedia events spotlighting local and global film, television, digital entertainment and music. These include the festival's three founding events: the Hong Kong International Film and Television Market (FILMART), the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) and the Hong Kong Film Awards Presentation Ceremony (HKFA). Six core events are also part of the 17 March to 13 April festivities: the Asian Film Awards (AFA); the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF); the Hong Kong Music Fair (HKMF); the IFPI Hong Kong Top Sales Music Award (IFPI TSA); the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum (DELF); and the Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Awards (ifva).

Hong Kong is Asia's major production and distribution hub for film and TV. Among Entertainment Expo's six film and TV events, FILMART, HKIFF, HAF and AFA open today. The Hong Kong Film Awards Presentation Ceremony, 13 April, will mark the conclusion of the 4th Entertainment Expo.

This year's FILMART has attracted more than 480 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions, including first-time exhibitors from the Czech Republic and Sweden. Group pavilions from Indonesia and Israel are also joining for the first time.

Other highlights of the 12th FILMART include TV World, Animation and Digital Entertainment World, Locations World - Asia and the Equipment and Post-production Services Pavilion. The newly added TV World Screening features quality TV dramas and documentaries from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States.

FILMART will also host the 1st Hong Kong Mobile Film Festival Awards Presentation Ceremony on 20 March.

HAF, the annual film project market, brings together regional filmmakers with promising projects and international financiers looking for co-production opportunities. Among more than 200 applications, 25 film projects were selected this year. Featured directors include Park Chan Wook from Korea, Li Yang from the Chinese mainland, Nakata Hideo from Japan and Pang Ho Cheung (Isabella, Exodus), Alexi Tan (Blood Brothers) and Carol Lai (Naraka 19, Floating Landscape) from Hong Kong.

Entertainment Expo honours industry excellence. This year's Hong Kong Film Awards will include industry professionals from outside Hong Kong who have contributed significantly to Hong Kong films. The Asian Film Awards, which takes place immediately following this evening's Entertainment Expo opening ceremony, will feature Jet Li, Song Hye Kyo, Yamada Yoji and other film stars. Among the 14 award categories are newly added Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, the AFA Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2nd AFA Edward Yang New Talent Award.

The 32nd HKIFF, with Sammi Cheng as ambassador and Eric Tsang as Filmmaker in Focus, showcases nearly 300 films from more than 50 countries and regions. Ann Hui's The Way We Are and Vincent Chui's Love is Elsewhere will make their world premiere at the HKIFF.

Turning to music, both the HKMF and the IFPI TSA will kick off this week at Hall 2, in the HKCEC. With more than 70 exhibitors from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and Germany, the 3rd HKMF is more international than ever. Apart from exhibits and performances, a series of star seminars will be staged, with established managers from all over Asia sharing the secrets of their successful artist management. Well-known Hong Kong managers such as Virginia Lok, Paco Wong and Mani Fok, and the singers they represent, have also been invited to talk about artist-manager relations on 20 March. New to the HKMF this year is the Talent Showcase, giving singers and composers a chance to be discovered by industry professionals. With support from Hong Kong Cyberport, HKMF visitors are free to download segments of the IFPI TSA ceremony from 20 to 21 March.

DELF 2008 spotlights "Immersive Media: What's Next in Creative Digital Content - 3D Cinema." Eric Brevig, Director of Journey to the Centre of the Earth (a 3D-movie scheduled to be released in July); Lu Shengzhang, Chief Director and Creative Director of Fuwa, the animated promotional film for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; and John Chu, Chairman of Centro Digital Pictures Ltd, will take part in the forum, along with other top industry innovators.

Local animation masters Raman Hui and Yuen Kin To, and new directors such as Nelson Yu Lik Wai and Wong Ching Po, are just a few of the film professionals who got their start at ifva. The event, which promotes creativity in short film, video, animation and interactive media, includes a Single-Screen-Based Interactive Media Category in view of the growing importance of new media. To promote innovative media, electronic music creator Ho Shan@PixelToy and Japanese new media artist Daito Manabe will perform at ifva this year.

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About the TDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 offices worldwide, including 11 in the Chinese mainland, the TDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The TDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, visit www.tdctrade.com

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